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Redevelopment of the former PEMCO site in Baltimore gets underway

The redevelopment of the former PEMCO factory site in southeast Baltimore — a project four years in the making — got underway with a formal groundbreaking Wednesday.

MCB Real Estate, a Baltimore-based developer, plans to remake the 20-acre industrial site across Eastern Avenue from the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus as a mixed-use project dubbed Yard 56.

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The developer of a former industrial site near Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in East Baltimore is updating its master plan as it works to tie down tenants for the estimated $100 million project.

Yard 56 will feature retail and office space plus residences and a hotel. The first phase, which got underway Monday, includes an LA Fitness gym scheduled to open in mid-2019, followed by a grocery store.

MCB purchased the former PEMCO site for $3 million in 2014 and began seeking approvals for its plans, which include an environmental clean-up of the polluted site. PEMCO, which closed in 2006, produced specialized enamel products in Baltimore for about 95 years, including the famous orange tiles that adorned Howard Johnson hotels.

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"After an extensive community and regulatory process, we are extremely excited to be finally starting construction on Yard56," said P. David Bramble, MCB's managing partner, in a statement. "This project is a once-in-a-generation transformational project which will clean up a major eyesore and deliver much needed retail commercial hospitality and residential services."

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